“First, we have an incredibly weighty existence which requires that we respect God and our neighbor whether the latter is a Christian or not. It means that we should expect to find common ground with non-Christians as a natural part of human existence.” – Michael Horton
I find myself thinking about my neighbors a lot lately, mainly because I’m still new in the neighborhood. When I meet someone, I try to remember to write down the person’s name when I get home and something to remember them by, like a house number or a dog’s name. I’ve met 14 neighbors on my street so far. I’ve found a little common ground, such as other dog owners, someone who recently lost a family member, and one who likes strawberries. There are differences, too, such as a practicing Buddhist, the young couples, the single mom. But we can all talk about yard work, termites, and good restaurants. I just want the conversations to one day go beyond watering the yard to something more substantial. All in good time; all in God’s time.
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ - Matthew 22:37-39
That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. (Juliet to Dawsey)
This book was the second one I’ve read recently that was set during and just after World War II. So, now my goal is to read two others I have at home already that are set in the same era.
Last month I read All the Light We Cannot See. So, when I was reading along in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (TGL&PPS), it was happily surprising to find Saint Malo mentioned. This was a large part of ATLWCS. The next book, which I’ll begin tonight or tomorrow is Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. This novel begins in Paris in 1940.
Even though these are fiction, they resonate with history and have drawn me in and left me feeling I have so much more to learn about events surrounding the second world war. Truly, I have even more to learn about all of history. The more I read the less educated I feel. But, hopefully, the more educated I’m becoming.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.-Ecclesiastes 4:9
Today was a good day. Nothing extraordinary, really, except the joy I had on my drive home from work. I thought about how the LORD has blessed me with friends and I have not realized how many he has sent along my path.
My husband can attest to the fact that I’ve cried many a tear bemoaning my lack of a “best” friend. I could say he is my best friend, and he truly is, but I need someone to do girl stuff with. The fact that he understands this shows what a good friend he really is.
Those friends from middle school are unique. They are the ones you grow up with and make memories that last forever. I’ve drifted away from most of those, but a few years ago I reunited with one and we have been closer than ever. It’s like we fell right back into that closeness that all the years had not erased. Twice this year we have gone to funerals together. I told my friend that would make for a good comedic novel, “Friends Who Go to Funerals Together Stick Together” or some such title.
But, what got to me today was exercise. Five of us stayed after work and did a 25 minute non-stop exercise routine. It was the idea of our boss, who was huffing and puffing right along with us. She is pretty fit, so the rest of us were doing most of the huffing and puffing. It was the camaraderie that made it worthwhile. It’s been a long time since I worked somewhere where everyone gets along. It’s a stress-free environment, at least for me.
I seem to be rambling, but my point is God has provided me with more than a job. He’s given me enjoyable office mates; friends to spur me on now in my effort to get fit. He’s given me back my friend from middle school. He’s given me kind neighbors. He’s making me aware of community – and I’m learning to BE a friend.
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.- Proverbs 27:17